Google+: 5 Awesome & Standout Features (or Updates)

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Google+ 5 Awesome Features & UpdatesGoogle+ launched earlier this year and was able to capture more than 40 million users in it’s first few weeks. It boasted dozens of features that Facebook either did not have or which lacked in quality/performance.

Circles, Hangouts, Editing posts and more are just a few of the features Google+ has to offer. We’ve compiled a list of 5 ‘Awesome & Standout Features’ Google+ brings to the table.

Circles

What Facebook lacks in privacy and sharing control, Google+ Circles addresses in a simple, streamlined, USE FROM THE START solution. Facebook has had ‘lists’ for sometime now (although the feature always fell short in many areas) and after the Google+ launch Facebook DID improve that feature. However, it is still inferior to the Circles function that Google+ has made available from launch.

One of the keys to the success of Circles is that as soon as you add a friend/connection to your Google+ profile, you must add them to a Circle. This means that ALL of your connections are grouped for future use. Privacy and sharing control are seriously improved because of this. Facebook improved it’s list feature but only after the fact and after you have probably accumulated 100’s (if not 1000’s) of friends. Going back and properly listing friends on Facebook now becomes a very difficult or impossible task (with 2400+ friends it would take hours).

The other part of Circles that makes it so ‘Awesome’ is its usability. The drag and drop, multiple selection, and the entire process just screams SIMPLICITY! Using Facebook’s lists makes me want to pull my hair out sometimes. With Circles you are able to very simply see names and faces and select multiple connections at once to Circle them. This also makes the process of moving people very easy.

Hangouts

So far I think this is my favorite feature! And many people agree with me. When Google+ first launched this was one of the TRUE STANDOUTS and remains such. Facebook attempted to launch a video calling feature backed up by Skype but it is pretty clear that feature fell flat on it’s face.  Hangouts are…. the future. Seriously, this is what video chat and video conferencing is all about.

Easy to use, good features, sharable, expandable, and more. Hangouts allow you to video chat with up to 10 people (you + 9 others). Sharing not just your pretty face, you can browse YouTube via Hangouts, chat via the built-in chat feature, and with “Extras” (an updated version of Hangouts) even share your screen, your docs and more.

Edit Post

Continuing the line of great features this one was a no brainer. Such a simple concept that is lacking on other networks, this is one I really like. The ability to EDIT a previous post is great. We often put a lot of time into what we post and after we hit submit thats it. What if we get really great feedback and then realize the link is wrong or we made a big spelling mistake. In Facebook (and Twitter) you are forced to either ‘suck it up’ or repost loosing all the great feedback you’ve gotten.

With Google+ you can Edit Your Post and revisions will be noted for viewers. This allows you to post with confidence and know that if you’ve have made a mistake (which we all do) you can fix it later on without erasing the comments, +1’s, shares, that you have received.

Update: Adjust Volume of Circles

As we create our Circles of connections there are obviously going to be some Circles we want to hear from more than others. We may want to hear EVERYTHING from our ‘family’ circle but perhaps only some of what our ‘old high school friends’ have to say.  Sometimes we want to ‘turn down the volume’ of those fellow cougars (my high school mascot) and limit our exposure to what they are posting.

Enter “Adjust the Volume of Circles” in your Stream (comparable to your Facebook Newsfeed). With this extremely easy to use tool you can a slide a bar to turn Up or Down the ‘volume’ of a particular Circle of connections. Check out the quick video that Google put together to explain the feature.

Analytics through “Ripples”

Ever wonder how many people have seen or shared or commented on your post. With Facebook we are shown a pretty primitive view of our shares and comments and likes. With the new feature on Google+ called Ripples we can see a really awesome display of how a particular post has ‘rippled’ through the Google+ community.

Larger circles show higher concentrations of interactions allowing us to identify just how popular a post is and who is responsible for the biggest splash! There is some truly excellent analytics here to show you what impact your post (or any post) has had throughout the network.


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